Thanjavur Damayanthi Kusalakumari (6 December 1937 - 7 March 2019) was an Indian actress and dancer. She featured in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam language films.
Born in Thanjavur, Kusalakumari is a niece of T. R. Rajakumari. Her birth name is Kusalambal. Being born in an artistes family, she began learning Bharata Natyam at the age of 3. When she was 5 years old, the family moved to Chennai. She used to go to film shooting with her aunt T. R. Rajakumari.
Kusalakumari began her film career as a child artiste. Though she has danced in films before, she got a character role in Avvaiyar as the child Avvaiyar. Her major role as the poor woman falling in love with Sivaji Ganesan, was in Koondukili, the only film Sivaji Ganesan and M. G. Ramachandran featured together. Later she acted as the younger sister of Sivaji Ganesan in Kalvanin Kadhali, and then as the younger sister of K. R. Ramasamy in Needhipathi. The competition dance with Kumari Kamala in Konjum Salangai brought fame to her as a dancer.
She began her film career in Telugu with Raju Peda as a dancer. The film featured N. T. Rama Rao in the main role and was a success. After that, she starred in many Telugu films both as dancer and in character roles.
- Kalai Chelvam
Kusalakumari did not marry. She lived with her brother T. D. Sekar in Chennai. The then Chief minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalitha came to know Kusalakumari's financial difficulties and sanctioned a monthly allowance of Rs.5000.
Kusalakumari died of old age (83) on 7 March 2019 in Chennai.
Credited as Baby Kusalambal
|Krishna Bakthi||Tamil||1949||Child dancer|
|Pona Machaan Thirumbi Vandhan||Tamil||1954||Chandra|
|Manmadha Leelai||Tamil||1976||Rekha's mother|
- Kusari, Kareena (8 March 2019). "Koondukili's Tamil Actress Kusalakumari Departs This Life On Wednesday At Age Of 83". Starbiz. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
- R. C. Jayanthan (11 March 2016). "மறக்கப்பட்ட நடிகர்கள் 3: தென்னகம் கொண்டாடிய திறமை! - குசலகுமாரி" (in Tamil). tamil.thehindu.com. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
- "பழம்பெரும் நடிகை குசலகுமாரிக்கு ஜெ. நிதியுதவி" (in Tamil). oneindia.com. 14 October 2015. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2019.